On February 20, 2018, The Women in Public Service Project hosted Lisa Witter, CEO and Co-Founder of Apolitical, for a Facebook Live discussion on the changing face of and innovations in public service. Witter, alongside Gwen K. Young, discussed the new trends that are helping governments, public servants, and the private sector efficiently problem solve.

A specific thread throughout the interview was that technology and public servants are working to “breakdown silos” between local, national, and international agencies.

In the discussion, Witter highlighted the innovative trends she has noticed through her work and discussed the future of public service. Many of her key trends underlined the importance of public servants enfranchising citizens to participate in all aspects of government. Director Gwen K. Young noted that she was “hearing an iterative process” between governments listening and citizens participating.

Underscoring the need to better utilize technology, Witter said that she is seeing government agencies “imbed innovators across agencies” to promote testing of ideas and innovation.  In regards to public-private partnerships, Witter and Young agreed that innovative partnerships with the private sector is changing the way governments approach development and problem solving. Particularly these partnerships are improving talent acquisition. Stating that “we need the best and brightest more than ever,” Witter’s insights emphasized the reciprocal relationship between the public and private sectors to advancing diverse talent recruitment.

Witter’s ten key trends in public service innovation:

  1. Participatory Budgeting
  2. Citizen Juries
  3. Design Thinking
  4. Innovation Labs
  5. Public-Private Partnerships
  6. Recruiting Diverse Talent
  7. Big Data
  8. Tech Connectivity
  9. Nudge—Behavioral Insight
  10. Learning Globally—Solving Locally

In closing, Lisa Witter reiterated that citizens and public servants are the government, and all serve a key function in promoting new sectors. Watch the full video to access to the full conversation and more insights into the future of public service.  

About Apolitical

Apolitical is a global network for government, helping public servants find the ideas, people and partners they need to solve the hardest challenges facing our societies. They promote that government is critical to solving global problems, but have traditionally lacked the ability to share best practices and innovative ideas across borders. Apolitical is working to provide public servants with access to innovative ideas from around the world.